Competitive intelligence glossary of terms

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AcquisitionThe process of acquiring or taking over a company or its assets.
Actionable intelligenceIntelligence that is relevant, timely, and provides specific guidance or recommendations for decision-making and action.
Adversarial CollaborationEngaging in constructive debates and collaborations with competitors or industry experts.
After action reviewsAfter action reviews are a process used for examining the performance of an individual or team, this is done by analysing their actions and decisions to identify any errors, determine what went well, and come up with ways to improve.
AgentA person who collects and reports information on behalf of a government or other organisation.
Agent handlerAn agent handler is a person who is in charge of running the Intelligence collection from an individual. Duties include recruiting, instructing, motivating, debriefing and advising your agent.
AgileA project management methodology that emphasises flexibility, collaboration, and continuous improvement.
AliasAn alias is a false name used by a person to protect their identity.
All source intelligenceAll source intelligence is a type of Intelligence that draws on information from various sources to provide the best possible understanding of a given situation. All source intelligence includes Human Intelligence, Signals Intelligence, Open Source Intelligence and Imagery Intelligence.
AmbushingAmbushing describes a marketing campaign that takes place before or after an event, usually without the knowledge of the event organisers. Ambush marketing campaigns are often unethical because they take advantage of the event organisers’ publicity to promote themselves.
AnalysisThe process of examining data and information to draw conclusions and make informed decisions.
Analysis of Competing HypothesesEvaluating and comparing other hypotheses to identify the most likely explanation.
Analysis paralysisAnalysis paralysis is a term used to describe a situation where someone spends an inordinate amount of time analysing all the possible outcomes of a decision. It is often associated with decisions that have high consequences.
AnalyticsThe use of data analysis techniques and tools to extract insights and improve decision-making.
and uncover vulnerabilities. Subsequentlythey guide their clients in fortifying their defences. The defence’s efficacy hinges on the attack’s quality (also referred to as penetration testing).
Ansoff MatrixA tool that helps companies identify growth opportunities by analysing four strategies:

Market penetration
Market development
Product development
Anti-surveillanceAnti-surveillance is the act of avoiding and detecting surveillance by using various methods such as camouflage, countersurveillance, and anti-tracking devices. Find out if people are watching you, who they are, ideally without letting them know you are aware.
Applied researchApplied research is a branch of science and engineering that uses the knowledge gained from basic research to develop new products, processes, or ways of solving problems. It is the process of taking knowledge gained from basic research and using it to solve practical problems. Applied research typically focuses on developing new products, strategies, or ways of solving problems that arise in the industry.
Argument MappingVisualising the structure and relationships of arguments to assess their validity.
Argument mappingA visual representation of an argument. It can be used to organise, summarise, and analyse the idea. Argument maps are often created to identify or resolve disagreements about the conclusion of an argument. Creating an argument map is to understand the reasoning behind the conclusion. This is done by breaking down the argument into its constituent parts and then analysing each piece in relation to one another.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)The use of computer algorithms and systems to perform tasks that would typically require
AssetAn asset is someone who knowingly or unknowingly provides Intelligence to a handler.
AssumptionAn assumption is a belief that’s not supported by any evidence.
AttributionDeals with assigning responsibility. It involves determining the true identity of a hacker


BackdoorBackdoors are concealed points of entry into a system or software. They can be intentionally woven into code
BackstopA backstop is a set of guidelines, names and addresses of front companies to support your cover story that will be used if people check your background.
Balance sheet analysisBalance sheet analysis is one of the most common ways to analyse a company’s financial situation, and it shows what the company owns, owes, and has come due.
Balanced ScorecardA performance management tool that measures a company’s success across multiple dimensions, including financial, customer, internal processes, and learning and growth.
Bang-and-burnSabotage and demolition missions.
Bargaining power of customersBargaining power of customers is part of Porter’s Five Forces model that analyses and isolates the five competitive forces that shape most industries and determines an industry’s strengths and weaknesses. Substitute products or services can be used instead of what you offer to pose a threat.
Bargaining power of suppliersA customer segment is a customer group that shares similar traits, and these traits might be demographic, psychographic, geographic, or behavioural. The idea of segmentation is to divide the market into groups that are more easily marketed to.
BCG MatrixA model for analysing a company’s product portfolio. Based on market growth and share, identify which products to invest in and which to phase out.
BenchmarkingComparing your organisation’s performance against industry leaders to identify gaps and improvement opportunities.
BenchmarkingBenchmarking is a technique in which you measure your performance against others in your industry. It is often used to determine the best practices and identify areas for improvement.
Best PracticesA set of methods and techniques that have been proven effective in achieving a specific goal or objective.
Big DataLarge and complex data sets that require advanced tools and techniques to analyze and extract insights from.
Bird WatcherA British-coined nickname for an intelligence officer
Bit CoinA digital currency created to function as both money and a means of payment, operating independently of any individual, collective, or organization’s authority, thereby eliminating the necessity for third-party participation in financial dealings. Enable to you to make discreet transactions
Black Bag Operation:Infiltrating a building to gather intelligence
Black operationA covert intelligence operation that is illegal or unethical, often involving activities such as assassinations, sabotage, or theft.
BlackhatBlackhats are malevolent hackers with the intent to breach computer systems. Driven by personal gain
Blindspot AnalysisIdentifying areas within your organisation that may lack attention or awareness.
BlowbackThe unintended consequences of a covert operation, such as a terrorist attack carried out by individuals who were once supported by a foreign intelligence agency.
BlownThe discovery of a compromised mission or identity necessitating a swift exit.
Blue OceansUncontested market space, as distinct from the ‚Äėred oceans‚Äô of existing market space.
Board of DirectorsA group of individuals elected by shareholders to oversee and manage the affairs of a company.
Bona fidesEvidence or credentials to verify someone’s identity or clearance.
BooleanAt its fundamental level, a Boolean search is a process of using boolean operators like AND, OR, NOT, and parentheses to filter your search results.
Bot NetWhen a person aims to take down a substantial target or decrypt a highly important file
BrainstormingBrainstorming generates creative ideas by getting a group of people with different perspectives and backgrounds in one room and then encouraging them to share their thoughts without any judgement.
BrandA company’s identity and reputation, as perceived by its customers and stakeholders.
Brand EquityThe value of a company’s brand, including its reputation, recognition, and perceived value to customers and stakeholders.
Brush ContactA discreet and fleeting physical interaction between operatives for the purpose of exchanging information, objects, or documents without arousing suspicion.
Bumpnitiating contact with a target in a public space to establish a relationship.
BurnedThe exposure of one’s identity or operation.
Business Intelligence (BI)The process of collecting, analysing, and presenting data to support decision-making in a business.
Business Model AnalysisEvaluating the effectiveness of your business model in capturing value.
Business Model CanvasA visual tool for describing and analysing a company’s business model, including its value proposition, customer segments, revenue streams, and key activities.
Business PlanA comprehensive document that outlines a company’s goals, strategies, and tactics for achieving success.


CapabilitiesHow a firm deploys its resources.
Capability gapThe gap in performance between where you are currently positioned against key success factors and where you aims to be.
Case OfficerA handler responsible for managing and guiding intelligence agents.
Cash Flow AnalysisThe cash flow analysis is another method to analyse a business. This type of analysis looks at how much money a company has in its bank account each month and how much money it spends every month.
Challenge AnalysisChallenging assumptions and scrutinising the validity of information and claims.
Chicken FeedLow-value or insignificant information that is of little relevance or importance for analysis or decision-making
Chronologies and TimelinesConstructing chronological sequences of events to identify patterns and trends.
Clandestine OperationA highly secretive mission designed to remain concealed.
Clandestine PremisesA secretive location where someone can rest and be safely interviewed. A safe house.
ClassifiedInformation protected by law due to its sensitive nature. Standard classifications are Restricted, Confidential, Secret and Top Secret. Usually accompanied by a code word to signify something.
CleanRemaining undetected to acquire and transmit information.
ClusterA cluster describes the grouping of people, objects, or concepts.
Cluster AnalysisCluster analysis allows the partitioning of a dataset into subsets or clusters. So objects within each cluster are more similar to one another than those in other clusters. It’s used to reduce large datasets’ complexity and find natural groupings within them.
CobblerA forger of identity documents.
CodeA system of words used to protect communication.
CodewordA word or words used to name a project to protect the client’s identity.
Competency ModellingCompetency modelling in Intelligence is analysing the skills and abilities needed to succeed in a profession. The process is employed when filling positions in an organisation or deciding what courses to offer in a college curriculum. Competency models can also be used in HR departments to find the best person for a job
Competitive AdvantageCompetitive advantage is a term used in marketing and business strategy to describe its ability to outperform its competitors. A competitive advantage can be achieved by providing a better product or service than those offered by the competition. The critical aspect of gaining a competitive advantage is to do something different from the competition.
Competitive BenchmarkingThe process of comparing an organisation’s products, services, or performance against those of its competitors to identify areas of strength, weakness, and opportunity.
Competitive IntelligenceCompetitive Intelligence is the finding, sorting and critical analysis of information. To make sense of what’s happening and why. Predict what’s going to happen and give the options to help you control the outcome. Competitive Intelligence offers certainty, competitive advantage, insight, growth & security.
Competitive IntensityThe degree of competition in a given industry and a main determinant of industry profitability
Competitive LandscapeA competitive landscape is a visual representation of the businesses that compete with one another in a given market. It typically includes an overview of the industry, the key players, and how they stack up against one another. A competitive landscape can help business owners understand the competitive environment they’re operating in and identify potential opportunities and threats.
Competitive PositioningCompetitive positioning is a process of identifying and analysing the strengths and weaknesses of your business against your competitors. This analysis includes identifying your competitors, what they do, how they do it, and what you do better than them.
Competitor AnalysisCompetitor Analysis evaluates who your competitors are to define their strategies and understand their weaknesses. Then compare them to your operation and product offering. Learn how to counter their strengths and exploit their weaknesses. Understand why customers buy from them to increase your competitive advantage.
Competitor Cash Flow AnalysisAssessing competitors’ cash flow patterns and financial stability.
Competitor ProfilingCompetitor profiling is a way of identifying the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. It can be done by looking at their ads, examining their pricing, and analysing their customer service. By understanding this information, you can create a strategy that will allow your company to beat your competition.
ComplementThe opposite of a substitute ‚Äď where an increase in demand for one product results in an increase in demand for another.
Complexity ManagerManaging complex information and decision-making processes effectively.
CompromisedThe exposure of a mission
Confirmation BiasConfirmation bias is the desire to search for, interpret, favour, and recall information in a way that confirms one’s beliefs. People display this bias when they interact with others who share their beliefs.
ConjectureConjecture is a theory that has not been proven to be true.
ContextContext refers to the broader set of information, circumstances, or conditions. Each of which can help provide understanding and interpreting data or events. It helps to determine meaning, relationships, and implications. Allowing more accurate analysis and decision-making.
Core CompetenceAn integrated bundle of skills and technologies; the sum of learning across individual skill sets and individual organisational units.
Corporate Reputation AnalysisEvaluating your organisation’s reputation and impact on stakeholder perceptions.
Corporate StrategyOptimising value from a portfolio of businesses and adding value to each through exploiting the firm’s core resources and capabilities.
Counter IntelligenceCounterintelligence is a subset of Intelligence that prevents espionage and other subversive activities. Within your business, counterintelligence can be used to check if anyone is knowingly or unknowingly revealing Competitive Intelligence to your competitor.
Counter SurveillanceSurveillance conducted to identify and evade followers.
Country Risk AnalysisAssessing the risks and opportunities associated with operating in specific countries.
CoverA fabricated identity or role used to conceal one’s true affiliation.
Critical Success Factor AnalysisIdentifying the key factors determining your industry’s success.
Critical Success FactorsCritical success factors are the most critical things to the success of a project. Critical success factors are the most important to the success of a project. One example of a critical success factor is having a clear definition of what constitutes success.
Cross-Impact MatrixAssessing the interrelationships between different variables to identify potential impacts.
CryptanalysisThe skill of deciphering encoded messages without having access to the decryption key.
CryptologistAn expert in creating and deciphering codes.
Crystalised intelligenceThe skills and knowledged learned through experience. Wide knowledge of their subkects and able to engage and extract infomration and remember more.
CultivationDeveloping a relationship with a potential agent to explore motivations.
Customer Purchasing Criteria (CPCs)What customers need from their suppliers.
Customer SegmentA customer segment is a customer group that share similar traits, and these traits might be demographic, psychographic, geographic, or behavioural. The idea of segmentation is to divide the market into groups that are more easily marketed to.
Customer Segmentation and Needs AnalysisIdentifying distinct customer segments and understanding their needs and preferences.
Customer Value AnalysisEvaluating the value customers derive from your offerings compared to competitors.
Cut-OutAn intermediary used to exchange information between individuals without direct contact.
CypherCypher is a type of encryption that uses a secret key to turn readable text into unreadable text. The key encrypts the message and then decrypt it back to its original form.


DangleA person or piece of information used to attract and and maybe compromise someone.
Dark SocialSocial sharing that occurs through private channels, such as email and instant messaging, making it difficult to track.
Dark WebThe part of the internet that is intentionally hidden and requires specific software to access.
DataData is the collection of facts, figures, and statistics recorded, classified, and analysed.
Data AnalysisThe process of examining data to identify patterns, trends, and insights.
Data CollectionThe process of gathering information from various sources.
Data ManagementThe process of organising and managing data in a way that is secure, accessible, and useful.
Data MiningData mining analyses data from a large set of records to identify patterns and trends. Data Mining involves finding hidden patterns, unknown correlations and other helpful information buried in large data sets. Data Mining is extracting information from data sources for use in business intelligence applications.
Data VisualizationThe use of charts, graphs, and other visual aids to represent data.
Dead DropA location to secretly pass information without a face-to-face meeting.
Debt-to-Equity RatioA financial ratio that compares a company’s debt to its equity, often used to evaluate its financial leverage and risk.
DeceptionDeception is a form of intelligence gathering, typically associated with military operations. The goal of deception is to fool the enemy into believing something that isn’t true. This can be done through false information, misinformation, or by making the enemy think they’re vulnerable in a way that they are not.
Decision MatrixAssessing options based on multiple criteria to make informed choices.
Decision Support SystemA system that provides information and tools to support decision making
Decision Tree AnalysisDecision tree analysis divides the population into homogeneous groups, and these groups are determined by using one or more attributes. The decision tree starts with all the records in the population and splits them at each node along the branches until each terminal node contains only one record. The objective of decision tree analysis is to find out which attribute (or set of features) best splits the population into homogeneous groups or clusters.
Decision TreesVisualising decision-making processes and potential outcomes to support decision-making.
DecryptionUnveiling a code’s content
DeductionIn the context of mathematics, a deduction is a process in which one begins with a set of premises and arrives at a logical conclusion. A deduction can be used to prove that something is true or false, but it can also be used to find out if something is possible given certain information.
Deep CoverAn agent operating with a thoroughly constructed false identity
Deep WebDeep Web is part of the Internet that is not indexed by standard search engines, and it can be accessed through special software, some of which are free.
Defensive StrategyA strategy used to protect a company’s market position and minimize the impact of competitive threats.
Delphi MethodSeeking input from a panel of experts to achieve consensus on uncertain issues.
Demographic AnalysisThe process of analyzing data about a particular population, such as age, gender, and income.
DemographicsCharacteristics of a population, such as age, gender, income, education, and geographic location, often used to segment and target markets.
Denial and Deception (D&D)The use of both denial and deception to mislead an adversary.
Devil’s AdvocacyAssigning a person or team to challenge and critique proposed strategies actively.
Diagnostic ReasoningAnalysing available data to diagnose the potential causes of observed phenomena.
Digital FootprintThe trail of data left by a person’s online activity.
Digital TransformationThe process of using digital technologies to fundamentally change the way a company operates, interacts with customers, and creates value.
Dirty TricksCovert actions taken to harm an adversary, such as planting false information or sabotaging equipment.
DisinformationDisinformation is false information that is spread intentionally to deceive or mislead. It can be in the form of a statement, image, or video. There are many reasons why people might want to create disinformation, such as for political purposes or just for fun.
Disruptive InnovationA new technology or business model that disrupts existing markets and industries, often by offering lower costs, greater convenience, or new functionality.
DisseminationThe process of sharing intelligence with relevant parties, including government agencies, law enforcement, and military personnel.
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)A favoured technique among hacktivists to incapacitate online targets. It involves overwhelming the target with excess traffic.
DiversificationMoving away from your core business.
Diversity and InclusionThe intentional effort to create a workplace that values and respects individuals from diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives.
Document ManagementThe process of creating, storing, and managing documents in a way that is secure, accessible, and useful.
Domain AnalysisThe process of analyzing a domain name to determine ownership, registration information, and other details.
Double agentAn agent working for one service while secretly assisting another.
DoxingWhen you seek information about an individual
Driving Force AnalysisIdentifying and analysing the major forces driving change in your industry.
Dry CleanConducting measures to detect potential surveillance.
Due DiligenceDue Diligence (background checks) is a robust business appraisal on a person of interest, investment or a business to assess many things, including tracking records, potential conflicts of interest, fact checks, competencies, political links and criminal records.
Duopoly MarketA duopoly market which has two sellers dominating the industry. This can result from mergers or acquisitions, or naturally, due to a small number of competitors. In either case, the resulting company will have less competition and, therefore, greater pricing power.


E-CommerceThe buying and selling of goods and services over the internet, often through online marketplaces or retailers.
Early Warning SystemA proactive mechanism that monitors and detects early indicators of potential threats, opportunities, or changes in the competitive landscape.
Ears OnlyHighly sensitive information not committed to writing.
EavesdropSecretly listen to private conversations.
Economic AnalysisThe study of economic trends and factors that impact a company’s success.
Economic Value Added (EVA)A financial performance metric that measures a company’s profitability by subtracting the cost of capital from its operating profit.
Economies of ScaleThe cost advantages that a company gains by increasing production or scale of operations, often due to reduced per-unit costs of labor, materials, and overhead.
EcosystemThe network of relationships and interactions among companies, customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders in an industry.
Electronic WarfareThe use of electronic signals and techniques to disrupt or intercept enemy communications.
ElicitationElicitation is the process of obtaining information from a respondent. It is often used in market research to determine what people think about a product or service.
Emergent StrategyThat which emerges over time as intentions collide with and respond to a changing reality
Employee EngagementThe degree to which employees feel connected to their work, their company, and their colleagues, which can impact their motivation, productivity, and retention.
EncryptionProtecting data through scrambling with a cypher.
Enterprise Content Management (ECM)The process of managing an organization’s entire lifecycle of content, from creation to disposal.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)The process of integrating and managing a company’s internal business processes and systems.
EntrepreneurshipThe process of creating and managing a new venture, often involving innovation, risk-taking, and the pursuit of opportunity.
Environmental AnalysisThe assessment of external factors that may impact a company’s success, such as regulatory changes or market trends.
Environmental ScanningEnvironmental scanning is the process of monitoring and analysing the environment to identify potential threats or opportunities. Environmental scanning can be conducted both internally and externally. Internal environmental scanning can be done by an individual, while external environmental scanning requires collaboration with other individuals or organisations. One way that intelligence agencies do this is by tracking trends in social media. They look for changes in sentiment, volume, and activity to determine if there are any potential threats or opportunities.
Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG)A framework for evaluating a company’s performance on environmental, social, and governance factors, which can impact its long-term sustainability and success.
EspionageThe practice of gathering and transmitting classified information for the purpose of aiding a foreign government or organization.
Ethical ConsiderationsThe moral and ethical implications of collecting and using competitive intelligence.
EvaluationThe process of assessing the effectiveness of a company’s strategies and tactics.
Event and Timeline AnalysisExamining specific events and timelines to gain insights into their impacts.
Evolutionary AnalysisTracing the historical evolution of your industry and identifying patterns and trends.
Executive CompensationThe pay and benefits that senior executives receive for their services to a company.
ExfiltrationSecretly rescuing an agent or operative from danger.
Experience CurveAn effect whereby the unit cost of a standard product declines by a constant percentage each time cumulative output doubles.
Experience Curve AnalysisAnalysing the relationship between experience and cost/performance improvements.
Expertise ManagementThe process of identifying and managing the knowledge and skills of employees and experts within an organization.
Explicit KnowledgeExplicit knowledge is the knowledge that can be communicated in words. It’s the type of knowledge that can be easily recalled and is not affected by emotions.
External DataData collected from sources outside of a company, such as market research or competitor analysis.
Eyes OnlyInformation restricted to specific individuals.


Facial RecognitionThe ability of software to recognize and identify human faces.
FactFact is a statement that is considered to be true.
False FlagAn operation in which one entity poses as another in order to carry out an attack or other action and falsely blame it on the other entity.
Financial AnalysisThe process of evaluating a company’s financial performance and health, using tools such as ratio analysis, financial statements, and cash flow analysis.
Financial Ratio and Statement AnalysisAnalysing financial statements and ratios to evaluate performance and financial health.
Financial StatementA document that summarizes a company’s financial performance over a specific period of time.
Financial Statement AnalysisThe process of analyzing a company’s financial statements, such as its income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement, to evaluate its financial health and performance.
Five EyesThe intelligence alliance between the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
Fluid intelligencethe power of reasoning and processing information. How we preceive relationships, deal with ununusaly problems and gain new knolwedge. Hi fluid intelligence is thst you csn be quick on the uptake and able to easily solve problems. More likely to feel more comfortsble in risky siutations
FootprintingThe process of gathering information about a target organization or individual.
Force Field AnalysisAnalysing the driving and restraining forces influencing a decision or change.
ForecastingThe process of predicting future trends and events based on historical data and analysis.
FranchisingA business model in which a company licenses its brand and operating system to other entrepreneurs, who operate their own independent businesses under the company’s name.
Front Organisation:A legitimate business used to mask covert operations.
Functional Capability and Resource AnalysisAssessing your organisation’s functional areas and available resources.
Fusion CenterA facility that brings together representatives from multiple agencies and organizations to share information and coordinate activities related to intelligence and security.
Fuzzy LogicFuzzy logic is a mathematical technique that deals with vague or imprecise concepts. ‚ÄúFuzzy‚ÄĚ refers to something that can be partly true, partly false, or somewhere in between. Fuzzy logic is a mathematical technique used for dealing with vague or imprecise concepts.


Gap AnalysisThe process of identifying the difference between a company’s current performance and desired performance.
GE Business ScreenAnalysing your organisation’s strategic business units based on market attractiveness and competitive strength.
Generic strategiesThose that relate to an entire genus or class, namely differentiation, low-cost or focus strategies.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS)Software tools and techniques for capturing, analyzing, and visualizing geographic data, often used for market analysis, logistics planning, and resource management.
GEOINTGeospatial intelligence, information gathered from geospatial data, such as satellite imagery or geographic information systems.
GeolocationThe process of determining the physical location of an individual or object using geographic coordinates.
Geospatial AnalysisThe analysis of geographic data to identify patterns and insights.
Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT)Intelligence gathered through the analysis of geospatial data, such as satellite imagery or terrain data.
Get Off The XMoving away from danger or exposure.
GistingGisting is the process of summarising a text, usually for quick reference. It can be done in four steps: Identify the main idea of the text nEliminate any unnecessary information nKeep only the most important details nCreate a summary that captures the gist, or main point, of the text.
GistingGisting is the process of summarising a text, usually for quick reference. It can be done in four steps: Identify the main idea of the text nEliminate any unnecessary information nKeep only the most important details nCreate a summary that captures the gist, or main point, of the text.
GlobalisationThe process of increasing interconnectedness and integration among economies, cultures, and societies around the world.
Going GreyBlending into surroundings to avoid detection.
Google AlertsA service that sends email alerts when new search results for a specified query appear.
Google DorkingThe use of advanced search techniques to find specific information on Google.
Google Street ViewA feature of Google Maps that provides street
Grey LiteratureGrey literature is a term that generally refers to scientific or scholarly articles, books, and other documents that are not published by mainstream publishing houses. Grey literature includes unpublished reports, working papers, essays, book chapters, conference presentations, etc.
GroupthinkGroupthink is when a team of people reach an agreement or conclusion without critical examination. It can happen when group members are afraid to disagree with each other or when they want to be accepted by the group.
Growth HackingA marketing strategy that focuses on rapid experimentation, data analysis, and creative thinking to find innovative ways to grow a company’s customer base and revenue.
Growth Vector AnalysisIdentifying and evaluating potential growth opportunities for your organisation.


HacktivistYour objective isn’t theft but rather making a statement. Like activists who utilize physical means like slogans
HandleInformation used by an agent handler to control an agent.
Hard InformationHard information is typically classified as having a high level of certainty and a low level of conjecture. Hard information is any data that cannot be changed, while soft information is any data that can be changed.
Hard TargetA high-security person or entity challenging to infiltrate.
Hashtag AnalysisThe process of analyzing hashtags to understand trends and sentiment.
High Impact/Low Probability AnalysisEvaluating events or scenarios with low likelihood but significant consequences.
Historiographical AnalysisAnalysing historical accounts and narratives to gain insights into your industry’s past.
Honeypot / HoneytrapA type of espionage operation in which an individual, often an attractive woman, is used to entice someone into revealing classified information or carrying out a particular action.
HOOF ApproachForecasting market demand by assessing the historic rate of growth, identifying key drivers, assessing how these and potentially new drivers may change in the future and thereby deriving demand forecasts
Horizon ScanningHorizon scanning is a technique companies use to anticipate future risks and opportunities and make strategic decisions. It’s a way of looking at the horizon for new opportunities and threats, rather than just looking at what’s in front of you.
Human CapitalThe knowledge, skills, and abilities of a company’s employees, which contribute to its overall success.
Human Terrain AnalysisThe process of analyzing the cultural, social, and political factors that influence a target or region, often used in military and intelligence operations.
HumintHumint is short for Human Intelligence, which is the information gathered by human sources. Humint can be collected through interviews, interrogations, or debriefings of individuals.


Ideal PlayerThe theoretical competitor who achieves the highest possible rating against each key success factor.
Image RecognitionThe ability of software to recognize and classify images.
Imagery Intelligence (IMINT)Intelligence gathered through visual images, such as satellite or aerial photographs.
IMINTIntelligence obtained from imagery, including satellite and aerial photography.
ImplantA type of espionage operation in which an intelligence agency secretly places an individual or device within an organization or facility to gather intelligence.
Implicit KnowledgeImplicit knowledge is a type of knowledge that cannot be articulated but is nevertheless stored in memory. It can be contrasted with explicit knowledge, which can be articulated and stored in memory.
Income Statement AnalysisThe income statement analysis is one of the most common ways to analyse a company’s profitability. It shows how much money a company made during a certain period of time.
Indications and Warning AnalysisIdentifying early signs and signals of emerging trends and opportunities.
Indicator ValidatorsAssessing the reliability and validity of indicators used in forecasting and analysis.
Industry AnalysisIndustry analysis is a process that can help to understand the market for a product or service and how it works. It can also help to make strategic decisions about what products and services to offer and how they should be priced.
Industry LifecycleThe stages of growth and decline that an industry goes through over time.
Industry MaturityThe stage of evolution of an industry, from embryonic through to growing, mature and ageing.
Industry ProfilingIndustry profiling is a process that involves gathering and analysing data about an industry to create a profile of the industry. This profile can be used for marketing purposes to help a company understand what their customers want and what they are most interested in.
Industry SupplyThe aggregate supply by producers of a product (or product group) over a specified period of time.
InfiltrationThe act of secretly entering an organization or territory to gather intelligence or carry out a mission.
InfiltrationPenetrating enemy lines to gather intelligence or assist agents.
InformationInformation is data, facts, or other items of information that can be used to make decisions.
Information BiasThe tendency to interpret information in a way that supports pre
Information LiteracyThe ability to effectively find, evaluate, and use information.
Information ManagementThe process of organizing and managing information in a way that is secure, accessible, and useful.
Information OverloadThe overwhelming amount of information that can make it difficult to identify relevant insights.
Information RetrievalThe process of accessing and retrieving information from various sources.
Information SecurityThe practice of protecting information from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction.
Information Technology (IT)The use of computer systems and software to process and manage information.
Information WarfareThe use of information to achieve military or political objectives.
InnovationThe process of developing new products, services, and processes that create value for customers and stakeholders.
Innovation Hot SpotsThe times and places in some companies where unexpected cooperation and collaboration flourish, creating great energy, productivity etc
Innovation PaceInnovation pace could be part of Porter’s Five Forces model that analyses and isolated the five competitive forces that shape each industry and determines an industry’s strengths and weaknesses. Innovation Pace is that technological changes can rapidly make existing businesses obsolete, and as technology advances, old business models must continually reinvent themselves to stay relevant.
Innovator’s DilemmaDo you or do you not invest heavily, with inevitable cannibalisation of existing sales, to protect against the possibility of a competitor doing likewise
Intellectual Property (IP)The legal rights and protections that a company has over its inventions, designs, and creations.
IntelligenceInformation that has been analyzed, evaluated, and interpreted to provide insights into an adversary’s intentions, capabilities, and vulnerabilities.
Intelligence AgencyAn organization responsible for gathering and analyzing intelligence information, such as the CIA or MI6.
Intelligence AnalysisThe process of examining and interpreting intelligence data to provide actionable insights.
Intelligence Analysis CenterA facility or unit that specializes in the analysis of intelligence information, often involving specialized software and tools.
Intelligence Analysis SoftwareComputer programs and tools used to analyze and visualize large amounts of data and information, often used in intelligence gathering and analysis.
Intelligence AnalystA person who analyzes intelligence information to produce reports and assessments.
Intelligence AssessmentAn evaluation of intelligence information that is used to inform decision-making, often involving analysis of the credibility and reliability of sources.
Intelligence BriefingIntelligence briefings are with intelligence professionals about the intelligence community’s latest findings. They are often given to high-ranking government officials but can also be for intelligence community members or other people who may not have access to classified information. Intelligence professionals may be from various parts of the intelligence community, such as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), GCHQ or National Security Agency (NSA). Competitive Intelligence professionals also use intelligence briefings to communicate the latest findings, recommendations, and the industry’s future and key competitors.
Intelligence BudgetThe amount of funding allocated to intelligence activities by a government or organization.
Intelligence Collection OfficerA person who is responsible for collecting intelligence through various means.
Intelligence Collection PlanA plan that outlines the methods and sources used to gather intelligence information, often developed as part of an overall intelligence strategy.
Intelligence CommunityThe collection of government agencies and organizations responsible for collecting and analyzing intelligence, including the CIA, NSA, and FBI.
Intelligence Community DirectiveA policy document issued by the Director of National Intelligence to provide guidance for the intelligence community.
Intelligence CycleThe process of collecting, analyzing, and disseminating intelligence information, often involving multiple stages and stakeholders.
Intelligence Cycle AutomationThe use of software and technology to streamline and automate the various stages of the intelligence cycle, often involving artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms.
Intelligence Cycle ManagementThe process of overseeing and coordinating the various stages of the intelligence cycle, often involving senior intelligence officials or executives.
Intelligence DeconflictionThe process of resolving conflicts or overlaps in intelligence activities between different agencies or organizations.
Intelligence DisseminationThe process of sharing intelligence information with authorized individuals or organizations.
Intelligence Dissemination PlatformThe system or process used to share intelligence information with relevant parties, often involving secure communication channels and protocols.
Intelligence Dissemination PolicyThe policy or guidelines that outline how intelligence information is shared and disseminated, often involving security clearance and classification protocols.
Intelligence EthicsThe principles and values that guide the conduct of intelligence activities.
Intelligence ExchangeThe process of exchanging intelligence information between intelligence agencies or between countries.
Intelligence ExploitationThe process of extracting and analyzing intelligence information from collected sources, often involving specialized software and tools.
Intelligence Exploitation TeamA team of analysts and experts who specialize in the extraction and analysis of intelligence information.
Intelligence FailureThe failure to gather or properly interpret intelligence, leading to negative consequences.
Intelligence FusionThe process of combining and analyzing multiple sources of intelligence to produce a more comprehensive picture of a target or situation.
Intelligence Fusion CenterA facility or unit that integrates and analyzes intelligence from multiple sources to produce a more comprehensive picture of a target or situation.
Intelligence GapA lack of intelligence information on a particular subject or situation.
Intelligence GatheringThe process of collecting information through various means, such as human sources, technical means, or open source information.
Intelligence Gathering PlatformThe system or process used to collect and process intelligence information, often involving specialized equipment and software.
Intelligence HardwareHardware used by intelligence agencies to gather, analyze, and disseminate intelligence information.
Intelligence Information Sharing EnvironmentA U.S. government initiative to improve the sharing of intelligence information between agencies.
Intelligence IntegrationThe process of combining and analyzing intelligence from multiple sources to produce a more comprehensive picture of a target or situation.
Intelligence LawThe body of law that governs intelligence activities and the use of intelligence information.
Intelligence LiaisonThe coordination between intelligence agencies and other organizations.
Intelligence OfficerA person who works for an intelligence agency and is responsible for intelligence gathering, analysis, or operations.
Intelligence OperationsThe activities involved in intelligence gathering and analysis.
Intelligence Operations OfficerA person who is responsible for planning and executing intelligence operations.
Intelligence OversightThe process of ensuring that intelligence activities are conducted in accordance with legal and ethical standards, often involving government oversight committees or watchdog groups.
Intelligence PenetrationThe practice of infiltrating an organization or network in order to gather intelligence or influence decision-making.
Intelligence Preparation of the BattlefieldThe process of gathering and analyzing intelligence to support military operations.
Intelligence PrioritizationThe process of determining which intelligence is most important and relevant.
Intelligence PriorityThe level of importance assigned to a particular intelligence target or topic.
Intelligence Priority ListA list of intelligence priorities, often developed by intelligence agencies or government departments to guide intelligence gathering and analysis.
Intelligence ProductA report or briefing that presents the results of intelligence analysis and is designed to inform decision-making.
Intelligence ProductionThe process of creating intelligence reports and other products.
Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention ActA U.S. federal law passed in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks that restructured the U.S. intelligence community.
Intelligence ReportA document that presents the results of intelligence analysis, often used to inform decision-making or support operations.
Intelligence Research SpecialistA person who conducts research and analysis to support intelligence activities.
Intelligence Resource ManagementThe process of managing resources, such as personnel and equipment, to support intelligence activities.
Intelligence Risk ManagementThe process of identifying and managing risks associated with intelligence activities.
Intelligence SharingThe practice of sharing intelligence information between government agencies, often to support law enforcement or national security activities.
Intelligence Sharing AgreementsFormal agreements between countries or organizations that outline the terms of sharing intelligence information.
Intelligence Sharing PlatformThe system or process used to share intelligence information between organizations or countries.
Intelligence SoftwareSoftware used by intelligence agencies to gather, analyze, and disseminate intelligence information.
Intelligence SourceA person or organization that provides information for intelligence gathering.
Intelligence StrategyA plan or framework for gathering, analyzing, and disseminating intelligence information, often developed by intelligence agencies or government departments.
Intelligence SuccessThe successful gathering and interpretation of intelligence, leading to positive outcomes.
Intelligence Surveillance and ReconnaissanceA military term referring to the gathering of information through surveillance and reconnaissance activities.
Intelligence TargetA person, group, or organization that is the focus of intelligence gathering activities.
Intelligence Target PackageA collection of intelligence information related to a specific target, often used to inform military or law enforcement operations.
Intelligence TargetingThe process of identifying and selecting targets for intelligence gathering or action.
Intelligence TechnologyTechnology used by intelligence agencies to support intelligence activities.
Intelligence TradecraftThe skills, techniques, and methods used in intelligence gathering and analysis, often involving deception, surveillance, and communication.
Intelligence TrainingThe process of providing education and training to individuals involved in intelligence gathering, analysis, or operations.
Intelligence-Led PolicingA law enforcement strategy that uses intelligence information to inform operations and investigations, often involving collaboration with intelligence agencies.
Intensity of rRvalry ‚Äď Your Competition in the IndustryThe intensity of rivalry is part of Porter‚Äôs Five Forces model that analyses and isolates the five competitive forces that shape most industries and determines an industry‚Äôs strengths and weaknesses. Substitute products or services can be used instead of what you offer to pose a threat‚ÄĒthe volume of competitors and their ability to beat and outperform you. The more competitors and the number of similar products and services provided, the less power a company will possess. Suppliers and buyers look for your competition to give them a better deal or lower prices. Also, when competitive rivalry is low, you will have more power to charge higher fees, set advantageous terms of deals, and gain more sales and profit.
Internal DataData collected from within a company, such as sales data or customer feedback.
Interpretation of Statistical AnalysisMaking sense of statistical data and its implications for your organisation.
InterrogationThe process of questioning a prisoner or suspect to obtain information.
Invisible AssetsInvisible assets are intangible assets that can’t be seen or touched. They include patents, copyrights, and trademarks.
IP Address LookupThe process of determining the geographical location of an IP address.
Issue AnalysisInvestigate specific issues or challenges that affect your industry or market.
Issue RedefinitionRethinking problems and challenges from different perspectives to uncover hidden opportunities.


JailbreakCircumventing device security to remove manufacturer restrictions.
Joint IntelligenceIntelligence operations conducted by multiple branches of the military or intelligence agencies.
Joint VentureA business partnership between two or more companies to achieve a common goal.
Junk PacketsWhen a hacker desires to disable a large website swiftly
KeyA string of letters and numbers used to encrypt and decrypt data.
Key Intelligence TopicsKey intelligence topics are those topics isolated as being the most important to your business. They allow a focus and direction for Competitive Intelligence projects. Enabling you to place them in priority and build Key Intelligence Questions from them.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)Metrics used to measure and track a company’s progress towards its goals and objectives.
Key Success Factors (KSF)What firms need to do to meet customer purchasing criteria and run a sound business.
Keyword AnalysisThe process of analyzing keywords to understand trends and patterns.
Key Assumptions CheckAssessing the validity and reliability of key assumptions underlying your analysis.
Kill BoxA designated area in which military forces have permission to engage any targets without further approval.
Knowledge ManagementKnowledge management is the process of creating, capturing, storing, sharing and reusing knowledge. Knowledge management can be applied to any type of information.
KompromatCompromising material gathered for blackmail or manipulation – Russian
KryptosA sculpture at CIA headquarters containing a secret message to be decoded.


Lateral thinkingLateral thinking is a term for a type of creative problem-solving that involves finding a solution to a problem by looking at it from an unusual perspective.
LeadershipThe ability to guide, motivate, and inspire others to achieve common goals and objectives.
Lean ManufacturingA methodology for reducing waste and increasing efficiency in manufacturing processes, through continuous improvement and waste elimination.
Learning ManagementThe process of creating, managing, and delivering educational content and resources to employees and stakeholders.
LegendA fabricated life history used to conceal an agent’s true identity.
Limited hangoutA tactic used by intelligence agencies to reveal a small amount of information in order to distract from or conceal a larger operation.
Linchpin AnalysisIdentifying critical financial factors or variables that can significantly impact your organisation.
Link analysisThe process of analyzing the relationships between different entities, such as people, organizations, and websites.
Live dropA face-to-face exchange of secrets or assets.
LogisticsThe process of planning, implementing, and controlling the movement of goods and materials from suppliers to customers, including transportation, warehousing, and inventory management.


Machine LearningA type of artificial intelligence that enables software to learn from data.
Macro-EconomicsThe study of the aggregate economy, whether regional, national or international.
Macro-Environmental (STEEP) AnalysisAssessing the societal, technological, economic, environmental, and political factors impacting your industry.
Man in the MiddleAn individual who covertly infiltrates communications between entities or computers. The “man in the middle” can intercept data from the traffic or even introduce their own data
Management ProfilingEvaluating your management team’s skills, experience, and capabilities.
Market AnalysisMarket analysis assesses your market, including market size in terms of volume and value. Considering customer segments, buying habits, competitors, the general business environment, associated regulations and barriers to entry. Market analysis questions include: What’s the market size?nIs the market expanding or contracting?nHow’s the industry value chain structured?nIs the competition intense?nIs there a threat of new entrants to the market?nHow many potential buyers are there?nWhat are the barriers to entry?nWhat’s the supplier bargaining power look like?nAnd what substituted products could customers use?
Market AttractivenessA composite measure of the relative attractiveness of a product/market segment, taking into account factors such as market size, market growth, competitive intensity, industry profitability and market risk
Market DefinitionMarket definition is defining what’s driving demand for your product or service need. It gives you the knowledge to differentiate yourself and stay ahead of the competition. And in many cases, it can be the unspoken, hidden key to success.
Market DemandThe aggregate demands of customers for a product (or product group) over a specified period of time, typically one year.
Market IntelligenceMarket Intelligence is the ethical collection and analysis of competitive information to enable you to avoid surprises, think more moves ahead, and minimise uncertainty to help more informed strategic decisions.
Market ResearchThe process of gathering and analyzing information about customers, competitors, and market trends.
Market SegmentationThe process of dividing a market into smaller groups based on shared characteristics, such as demographics or behavior.
Market ShareThe percentage of a market that a company holds compared to its competitors.
Market SizingMarket sizing is a term used to describe the process of determining the size of a particular market. Market sizing estimates the number of potential buyers within a given market. And the entire sales they may generate.
Market PositioningProponents of the view that strategy should be focused at the level of the business, where all meaningful competition resides, and corporate strategy limited to portfolio planning.
MarketcraftingCreating estimates of market size (and growth) and market share (and growth) from the bottom up, by using index numbers to gauge the relative scale of key producers, present and past.
Marketing MixThe combination of product, price, promotion, and place (distribution) that a company uses to market its products or services.
MASINTMeasurement and signature intelligence, information gathered from non-communications signals, such as radar or other electronic signatures.
MasqueradeThe use of false identities or disguises to conceal one’s true identity or purpose.
McKinsey 7s AnalysisAssessing the alignment of your organisation’s strategy, structure, systems, skills, style, staff, and shared values.
Measurement and Signature Intelligence (MASINT)Intelligence gathered through the measurement and analysis of unique characteristics of targets, such as their electromagnetic signatures.
MergerThe process of combining two or more companies to form a single entity.
Merger and Acquisition (M&A)The process of combining two or more companies, often to achieve economies of scale, diversify products or markets, or gain strategic advantages.
MetadataMetadata is data about data. It is information that provides context to the data, such as the author of a document, the creation date it was created, or the file type. Metadata can be used for many purposes, including identification, searchability, and verification.
MICEAn acronym for Money, Ideology, Coercion, and Ego, which are the four main motivations for individuals to engage in espionage.
Micro-economicsThe study of small economic units, such as the consumer, the household, the non-profit organisation or, most commonly, the firm.
Micro-environmentThe micro-environment is the environment surrounding an individual or business, including their workplace, the people they interact with daily, and other factors.
MicrodotHiding messages or images within a tiny dot.
Military IntelligenceThe gathering and analysis of information related to military operations and national security.
Mind MapsA mind map is a diagram that shows how ideas are related to one another. It is a visual way of representing information and can be used to study, planning, problem-solving, decision-making, and writing. Mind maps can be created with pen and paper or on a whiteboard. They are often drawn as branching diagrams with lines connecting the various thoughts to show how they are related. The use of colour or shading may indicate different types of relationships.
Mission StatementA statement that outlines a company’s purpose, goals, and values.
MoleAn insider working for a foreign intelligence service.
MolesAgents who infiltrate an organization with the intention of gathering intelligence or carrying out a mission.
Morphological AnalysisBreaking down a problem into its constituent parts and exploring different combinations.
Morse CodeA method of communication using dots and dashes.
Moving AverageA method of smoothing a time series (typically annual) by averaging a fixed number of consecutive terms (typically three years).
Multiple Hypotheses GeneratorGenerating multiple hypotheses to explore various possibilities.
Mystery ShoppingThe practice of sending individuals to pose as customers to gather information about a company’s products or services.


NakedExposed and vulnerable.
National Security IntelligenceIntelligence information related to national security, often involving military or diplomatic activities.
Natural Language ProcessingA branch of artificial intelligence that focuses on enabling computers to understand human language.
Need-To-KnowThe principle of sharing information only with those who require it.
Needs AnalysisThe process of identifying the needs and preferences of customers or employees.
Net Present Value (NPV)A financial calculation used to determine the present value of future cash flows, adjusted for inflation and the time value of money.
Network AnalysisThe process of analyzing social or other networks to understand relationships and connections.
Nine ForcesExpanding on Porter’s model by considering additional forces that impact industry competitiveness.
Nominal Group TechniqueCombining individual brainstorming with group discussions to enhance idea generation.
NullcipherA message with no apparent meaning that actually contains a hidden message.
Numbers StationShortwave radio broadcasting coded messages to operatives.


On the groundYou have someone you know in your competitors head office or sales team that will tell you things.
One-time padAn unbreakable encryption method using a unique key.
Open dataData that is freely available to the public.
Open-source intelligence (OSINT)Intelligence obtained from publicly available sources, including news articles, social media, and other online content.
OperationA specific goal-oriented intelligence mission.
Operational intelligenceIntelligence information used to inform immediate or ongoing operations, often involving military or law enforcement activities.
Operational security (OpSec)Practices to protect identity and information.
Operations ManagementThe process of managing a company’s production processes, including planning, scheduling, and controlling resources to maximize efficiency and profitability.
Organisational analysisThe assessment of an organization’s structure, culture, and capabilities.
Organisational DevelopmentThe process of improving a company’s performance and effectiveness through changes in its structure, culture, and processes.
OSINT collectionThe process of collecting open-source intelligence, including the identification and assessment of sources and methods of collection.
Outcomes analysisThe assessment of the outcomes or results of a particular strategy or initiative.
Outside-In ThinkingAdopting an external perspective to identify blind spots and uncover new insights.
OutsourcingThe practice of contracting out business processes or services to third-party providers, often to reduce costs or access specialized expertise.
Overhead analysisThe assessment of a company’s fixed costs, such as rent or salaries.


Parenting advantageThe creation of synergies not just between strategic business units but between them and the centre.
ParoleA pre-agreed recognition phrase.
Patent AnalysisAnalysing patents and intellectual property to identify technological advancements and competitors’ activities.
Patent analysisThe analysis of patent filings and intellectual property to inform business decisions.
Pattern recognitionPattern recognition is the ability to detect patterns in stimuli. It is a cognitive process that allows one to organise and identify repeating or regularities in things they perceive. It’s also an essential part of how humans learn new information.
PenetrationThe act of infiltrating an organization or territory in order to gather intelligence or carry out a mission.
Performance analysisThe assessment of a company’s performance in relation to its goals and objectives.
Performance AppraisalThe process of evaluating an employee’s performance against established goals and standards, often used to inform salary, promotion, and training decisions.
Performance ManagementThe process of setting goals, measuring progress, and providing feedback to improve employee performance.
Personal surveillance detectionMeasures to detect enemy surveillance.
PEST AnalysisA framework for analyzing the Political, Economic, Social, and Technological factors that impact a business or industry.
PhishingA form of cyberattack and social engineering tactic in which malicious actors attempt to deceive individuals into divulging sensitive or personal information
PlaintextThe original text without code
PlantAn undercover agent secretly placed to gather intelligence.
PlaybackProviding false information to elicit valuable intelligence.
Pointy stick competitive intelligenceThe practice of Competitive Intelligence experts teaching people in a boring and predicated way about the incredibly interesting subject. Usually in an academic environment.
Political and Country Risk AnalysisEvaluating political stability and potential risks associated with specific countries.
Porter’s Five ForcesA framework for analyzing the competitive forces that shape an industry, including the bargaining power of suppliers, buyers, competitors, and new entrants, as well as the threat of substitutes.
PortfolioThe collection of key product/market segments in a business or of businesses (strategic business units) in a multibusiness company.
Predictive analyticsPredictive analytics is part of datamining that involves analysing past behaviour or data to predict future events. Predictive analytics is an emerging field with various applications, from credit card fraud detection to customer churn rates. Examples of predictive analytics include machine learning to detect fraudulent activity, such as identifying fraudulent transactions or intrusion attempts by cyber attackers. In business, predictive analytics can forecast the likelihood of someone leaving a company or purchasing a product. Predictive analytics can be used to make marketing decisions, such as deciding to send an email, making a phone call, or sending a direct message to a potential customer. With predictive analytics, the goal is to use data to make predictions.
Premortem AnalysisImagining a scenario where a project or decision fails to identify potential pitfalls.
PretextingA technique in which an individual creates a false identity or story in order to gain access to sensitive information or secure locations.
Price ElasticityA measure of how sensitive customer demand is to changes in price.
Primary researchPrimary research is the raw data collected by a researcher or set of researchers. It is not based on previous research, and it is not a synthesis of other studies. It’s talking to people and then verifying the information found by talking to other people or via secondary sources.
Process analysisThe assessment of a company’s processes and procedures to identify areas for improvement.
Product DevelopmentThe process of creating and bringing new products or services to market, often involving market research, design, prototyping, and testing.
Product intelligenceProduct intelligence is the process of collecting, analysing, and acting on data about how people use your product. The process involves using customer data and competitor analysis to help you build better products and customer experiences.
Product Life Cycle AnalysisAssessing the different stages of a product’s life cycle and adapting strategies accordingly.
Product Line AnalysisEvaluating the performance and potential of individual product lines within your portfolio.
Profit and loss (P&L) analysisProfit and loss statement (P&L) is a method of analysing a company’s finances. This report shows how much money the company made during a certain period of time and how much was spent and how much was earned.
Profit from the coreBuild power in a well-defined core (Tool 21). Relative market share (RMS)‚Äā Your market share relative to that of your largest competitor.
Profit MarginA financial performance metric that measures the percentage of revenue that a company keeps as profit after deducting expenses.
Profit margin analysisAnother way to analyse a company’s financial performance is by calculating its profit margin. This number tells us how profitable a company is compared to its total revenue. If a company has a high-profit margin, then it means that it makes more money than it spends.
Project ManagementThe process of planning, organizing, and executing projects, often involving multiple teams, stakeholders, and resources.
PropagandaInformation or ideas deliberately spread to influence public opinion or behavior.
Pros-Cons-Faults-and-FixesEvaluating the pros, cons, faults, and potential remedies of different options.
Psychological OperationsThe use of psychological techniques to influence attitudes and behavior.


Quadrant CrunchingCreating quadrants to categorise and analyse data based on multiple criteria.
Quadrant Hypothesis GenerationCreating hypotheses based on the characteristics of different quadrants.
Qualitative marketing researchQualitative marketing research is a form of research that deeply explores consumers’ thoughts, opinions, feelings, motivations, and behaviours. Qualitative research can be done in person or online.
Qualitative researchResearch that focuses on subjective insights and experiences.
Quality ControlThe process of ensuring that a company’s products or services meet or exceed customer expectations and industry standards.
Quality ManagementThe process of ensuring that a company’s products or services meet or exceed customer expectations, often involving quality control, assurance, and improvement activities.
Quantitative marketing researchQuantitative marketing research is a type of market research that measures attitudes, opinions, preferences, and other data to determine the size and shape of the target market. It can be used to find potential markets for new products or services.
QuestionnaireA survey used to gather information from individuals or groups.


R&D (Research and Development)The process of conducting scientific and technological research to develop new products, services, and processes.
Ranking, Scoring, PrioritisingAssigning values and rankings to different variables to determine their significance.
Recognition phraseA predetermined phrase to confirm identities.
Recognition signalA distinctive signal to confirm an identity.
ReconnaissanceThe process of gathering information about enemy forces or territory.
RecruitmentConvincing a potential agent to work for an intelligence service.
Recruitment analysisThe assessment of a company’s recruitment and retention strategies.
Red Hat AnalysisEvaluating different aspects of a situation, including emotions and intuitions.
Red teamA group of individuals who are tasked with simulating a potential adversary in order to identify weaknesses in a system or strategy.
Red Team AnalysisForming an independent group to simulate competitors and evaluate strategy from their perspective.
RedactionRemoving sensitive content from documents.
Relationship analysisThe assessment of a company’s relationships with customers, suppliers, and partners.
Remote Administration Tools (RATs)Aptly named Remote Administration Tools (RATs) are software components that lurk in the concealed corners of your computer. Once a RAT infiltrates
Reputation analysisThe assessment of a company’s public perception and reputation.
Resource-based schoolProponents of the view that strategy should be focused on leveraging the resources and capabilities of the corporation as a whole.
ResourcesA firm’s productive assets, whether human, physical, financial or intangible, as distinct from capabilities, which are how a firm deploys its resources.
Reverse engineeringReverse engineering takes apart an object, situation, idea or problem to understand how it works. It can be done on anything from a machine or toy to a biological organism. Typically it is done to see how it works, make another one that looks the same, or modify the original design.
Reverse image searchA search technique that allows users to find related images by using an existing image.
Risk analysisThe process of assessing potential risks and vulnerabilities, and identifying measures to mitigate or manage those risks.
Risk ManagementThe process of identifying, analyzing, and mitigating risks to a company’s operations, finances, reputation, or other areas of concern.
Role-PlayingAssuming different perspectives and roles to understand diverse viewpoints.
RSS feedsA format for delivering regularly updated web content.
RubiconA metaphorical point of no return, beyond which an individual or organization is committed to a particular course of action.


S-CurveAnalysisExamining the growth and maturity trajectory of a technology or product.
SafehouseA secure place to rest or be debriefed
Sales AnalysisThe assessment of a company’s sales performance to identify areas for improvement.
Sales ForecastingThe process of predicting future sales based on historical data, market trends, and other factors.
Sales ManagementThe process of managing a company’s sales function, including forecasting, planning, and controlling sales activities and performance.
SanitizingRemoving incriminating evidence or information.
ScenarioA coherent and consistent portrayal of a series of future events based on specific parameter assumptions made by the strategist.
Scenario AnalysisDevelop alternative future scenarios to understand potential outcomes and their implications.
Scenario PlanningThe process of developing and analyzing multiple possible future scenarios to inform decision-making and strategic planning.
Script KiddyA term used by proficient hackers to condescend toward those who cannot create hacking code from scratch
Secondary ResearchSecondary research refers to any information that has been gathered from previous studies, books, databases, journal articles, news articles and webpages. Secondary research is often used in academic research because it can provide an overview of what has already been done in a particular field of study.
SegmentA slice of business where the firm sells one product (or product group) to one customer group
Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI)Highly classified information that is compartmentalized and only accessible to individuals with a specific need-to-know.
Sensitivity analysisThe tweaking of parameter value assumptions to test overall impact on key financials.
Sentiment AnalysisThe process of analyzing text to determine the writer’s sentiment or opinion.
Servo AnalysisUnderstanding customer requirements and designing products/services to meet those needs.
ShadowingObserving and studying the actions and strategies of competitors and industry leaders.
Shareholder ValueThe value a shareholder gains from investing in a firm through dividend and other payouts and capital appreciation/gain upon exit.
ShellThink of it as a seed
SIGINT – Signals intelligenceSignals intelligence, the interception and analysis of signals, such as radio or electronic transmissions, to gather information.
Six SigmaA methodology for reducing defects and improving quality in manufacturing and service processes, through statistical analysis and continuous improvement.
SleeperAn agent living in a foreign country as a regular citizen until activated.
Sleeper AgentAn agent who is embedded in a foreign country or organization and does not carry out their mission until activated by their handlers.
SMART ObjectivesThose that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-limited.
SMESmall to medium-sized enterprise
Social Marketing IntelligenceSocial marketing intelligence is a term that refers to the collection and analysis of information about a company’s social media presence. It can be used for various purposes, including assessing customer service effectiveness, understanding customer sentiment, and measuring brand awareness.
Social Media AnalysisThe analysis of social media platforms to understand customer behavior and sentiment.
Social Media MonitoringThe process of monitoring social media platforms to gather information.
Social Network AnalysisThe analysis of social networks to identify patterns and relationships between individuals or groups.
Soft TargetA vulnerable or poorly defended target, such as a civilian population or commercial facility.
SortingOrganising information systematically for more straightforward analysis and comparison.
Source handlerAn individual responsible for managing agents.
Special Operations IntelligenceIntelligence information used to inform special operations activities, often involving unconventional tactics and operations.
SpookSlang for an intelligence officer.
StarburstingAn individual tasked with identifying targets or providing surveillance for an upcoming operation.
SpyAn individual passing secrets to a foreign intelligence service.
SpycatcherA specialist in counterintelligence.
SpycraftThe skills and techniques used by intelligence agents to gather and transmit information.
SpymasterThe leader of an intelligence service.
SpywareSpyware constitutes malicious software designed to clandestinely monitor your computer activities
StakeholderPersons and organisations with a non-shareholding stake in the success of the firm, for example employees, customers, suppliers, national and local government, the local community.
Stakeholder AnalysisThe assessment of the needs and expectations of a company’s stakeholders, such as investors or customers.
StakeoutSurveillance of a specific area or target.
Starbursting.Exploring a topic from various angles by asking and answering specific questions
StationA location where espionage work is conducted.
SteganographyHiding messages within other messages or images.
Strategic AlliancesCollaborative partnerships between two or more companies, often used to share resources, expertise, or markets.
Strategic AnalysisThe assessment of a company’s overall strategy and direction.
Strategic Business Unit (SBU)A profit centre entity with a closely inter-related product (or service) offering and a cost structure largely independent of other business units.
Strategic Due Diligence .An assessment of the key risks and opportunities in market demand, industry competition, competitive position, strategy and the business plan facing a target company
Strategic Early WarningStrategic early warning is the process of identifying threats to an organisation before they become too serious. This can be done by monitoring changes in the environment or researching what might happen if certain events occur.
Strategic Funds ProgrammingAllocating financial resources strategically to support key initiatives.
Strategic Group AnalysisIdentifying and analysing groups of companies with similar strategies and market positions
Strategic IntelligenceIntelligence information used to inform long-term planning and decision-making, often involving national security or business strategy.
Strategic Investment DecisionGo/no-go decision on an investment of strategic importance.
Strategic PlanningThe process of defining a company’s vision, mission, and goals, and developing strategies to achieve them.
Strategic Relationship AnalysisAnalysing the relationships and alliances between organisations within your industry.
Strategic RepositioningAdjusting strategic position through investing, holding, exiting or entering segments (for business strategy) or businesses (for corporate strategy).
Strategic ResourcesThose that are valuable, rare, inimitable and non-substitutable.
StrategyHow a firm achieves its goals by deploying its scarce resources to gain a sustainable competitive advantage.
Strategy SevelopmentThe process of creating and implementing a company’s strategic plan.
Structured AnalogiesDrawing parallels between different situations or industries to gain insights.
Structured BrainstormingFacilitating group creativity by following a structured approach.
Structured DebateStructuring discussions and arguments to facilitate constructive dialogue and problem-solving.
Structured interviewingSystematised interviewing of customers, suppliers and other industry observers to gain strategic information.
Structured Self-CritiqueConduct a critical self-assessment to identify biases and gaps in your analysis.
Subject of InterestSubject of interest refers to an individual, group, or entity that is the focus of an investigation, surveillance, or analysis due to their potential relevance or significance to a particular inquiry.
SubstituteThe substitute is a product that can replace the original product. Substitutes are considered to be products that are similar in function or quality. The threat of substitutes is the likelihood that customers will choose a substitute over the original product.
Suns & Clouds ChartAn assessment of key risks and opportunities, portrayed visually as suns and clouds, by likelihood of occurrence and value impact, should they occur.
Supply Chain AnalysisAnalysing the flow of products, information, and resources within your supply chain.
Supply Chain ManagementThe process of managing the flow of goods and materials from suppliers to customers, including sourcing, procurement, logistics, and inventory management.
SurveillanceThe observation of people, places, or objects for the purpose of gathering intelligence or gathering evidence.
Surveillance AwareRealising that one is or could be under surveillance.
Surveillance Detection Route (SDR)A predetermined route to expose surveillance.
Sustainable Growth Rate AnalysisDetermining the rate at which your organisation can grow without external financing.
SWOT AnalysisSWOT analysis is a business strategy that identifies weaknesses, strengths, opportunities and threats. It is used to evaluate the company‚Äôs position in the marketplace. A SWOT analysis should provide a list of all the organisation‚Äôs internal factors and external environments to decide how to manage its current situation. Strengths are internal factors that can be leveraged to an advantage. nWeaknesses are internal factors that may limit the company‚Äôs success. nOpportunities are external factors that may provide new chances for growth or expansion. nThreats are external factors that may cause harm to the company or limit it‚Äôs success.
SynecticsSynectics is a creative problem-solving process. Allows for the use of both convergent and divergent thinking to find an answer or solution. Synectics was developed in the 1950s by George Prince, who studied philosophy at Harvard University with Alfred North Whitehead. The synectic process is also used in design, engineering, and management consulting to generate new ideas and solutions.
SynergyWhere the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
SynthesisSynthesis is the process of combining two or more things into a whole. In Intelligence, synthesis means combining different sources of information to form a single conclusion.


Tactical intelligenceIntelligence information used to inform immediate or short-term decision-making, often involving military operations or law enforcement activities.
TargetThe person, organization, or entity that is the subject of an intelligence operation or investigation.
Target analysisThe process of analyzing a target to determine their capabilities, vulnerabilities, and intentions.
Target MarketThe specific group of customers that a company aims to serve with its products or services.
Target market analysisThe assessment of a company’s target market to inform marketing strategies and tactics.
Technical intelligenceIntelligence information obtained from technical sources, including cyber attacks, electronic surveillance, and forensic analysis.
Technical Intelligence (TECHINT)Intelligence about foreign weapons and equipment.
Technical operations officerAn agent involved in technical surveillance and operations.
Technical Surveillance CountermeasuresMeasures taken to detect and neutralize electronic eavesdropping devices.
Technical Surveillance Countermeasures (TSCM)Measures to detect and counter electronic surveillance.
Technology analysisThe assessment of new or emerging technologies that may impact a company’s success.
Technology ForecastingPredicting future developments and advancements in technology.
Threat analysisThe assessment of potential threats to a company’s success, such as competitors or economic factors.
Threat assessmentThe process of identifying and analyzing potential threats, often used in intelligence and security contexts.
Threat matrixA visual representation of potential threats to a target or organization, often used to prioritize intelligence gathering and analysis.
Threat of entryThe threat of entry is part of Porter’s Five Forces model that analyses and isolates the five competitive forces that shape most industries and determines an industry’s strengths and weaknesses. Substitute products or services that can be used instead of what you offer to pose a threat. The quicker and lower the costs for a rival to enter a market and be an effective competitor, the more your position could be weakened. An industry with a solid barrier to entry is perfect for existing companies within the industry. You will be able to charge the price you wish and the terms you want.
Threat of substitutesThe threat of substitutes Is part of Porter‚Äôs Five Forces model that analyses and isolates the five competitive forces that shape most industries and determines an industry‚Äôs strengths and weaknesses. Substitute products or services can be used instead of what you offer to pose a threat. Companies who provide products or services with no close substitutes have more power to increase prices and lock in better terms. When there are several substitutes around the market, It will give customers more options than yours‚ÄĒweakening your ability to charge what you need to make a decent profit.
Time series analysisThe analysis of data over time to identify trends and patterns.
TorShort for “The Onion Router,” is free and open-source software for enabling anonymous communication.
Total Quality Management (TQM)A management philosophy that emphasises continuous improvement, customer focus, and employee involvement, to improve quality and reduce waste.
Trade show analysisThe assessment of industry trade shows and events to identify trends and insights.
TradecraftThe skills and methods used in intelligence gathering and analysis.
Traffic analysisGathering intelligence from patterns in intercepted messages.
TrapsSubtle measures set to detect intruders.
TrawlTrawl refers to the systematic and comprehensive search for information or data across various sources or platforms
Trend analysisTrend analysis is the process of examining the trends of a market, economy, or business. It can be used to predict future performance based on past performance.
TriggerThe surveillance team member responsible for reporting a target’s movements.


UncleSlang for intelligence headquarters.
Undercover OperationsCovert operations carried out by intelligence agencies or law enforcement to gather intelligence.
Useful idiotSomeone who unknowingly supports or promotes the agenda of another person, often to their own detriment.
Value ChainThe series of activities that a company performs to create and deliver value to its customers.
Value chain analysisValue chain analysis is a way to look at a company’s business processes from how they create value for customers. It starts with the raw materials or inputs used to produce a product or service and ends with the customer paying for it. There are steps such as design, production, distribution, and sales. The point of value chain analysis is to identify which parts of the process create the most customer value and then focus on those parts to improve efficiency.
Value propositionA value proposition is a statement that describes the benefits of a product or service to the customer. A good value proposition should be specific and compelling, and it should address all of the customer’s needs.
Vendor analysisThe assessment of a company’s vendors and supplier relationships.
Vendor ManagementThe process of managing relationships with third-party vendors or suppliers, to ensure quality, cost-effective, and timely delivery of goods or services.
Virtual BrainstormingConduct brainstorming sessions remotely using online collaboration tools.
Virtual TeamsTeams of geographically dispersed employees who work together using communication technologies and collaboration tools, often used to increase flexibility and reduce costs.
Vision StatementA statement of a company’s long-term aspirations and goals, often used to inspire and align employees and stakeholders around a common purpose.
VPNA Virtual Private Network that creates a secure, encrypted connection between a computer and a network.
VulnerabilityIf there’s a gap in your system’s defences‚ÄĒa weak point


Walk-InA willing individual offering vital information to an intelligence service.
Wallet LitterFilling a fake wallet with convincing documents to enhance cover. The staff in a real wallet
WargamingWargaming in Intelligence is the process of simulating a situation to understand how it would play out. The term is used to describe physical and digital simulations. Wargaming is often used in military strategy and more to the point in business. War games are usually done by government agencies, militaries, and corporations to test their readiness for an event or situation.
WarezPertains to pirated software
WatermarkA hidden mark or symbol used to identify the source of a document or image.
Wayback MachineA digital archive of the internet.
Web AnalyticsThe analysis of website traffic and user behavior to inform online marketing strategies and tactics.
Web ArchiveA collection of websites that have been preserved over time.
Web ScrapingA method of extracting data from websites using software.
What If? AnalysisExploring alternative scenarios and assessing their potential impacts.
White NoiseA background signal or interference used to mask or conceal other signals.
White SpaceThe large, but mostly unoccupied, territory in a company where rules are vague, strategy is unclear and where entrepreneurial activity most often takes place
WHOISA database of domain name registration information.
Win/Loss AnalysisWin/loss analysis is a process of identifying why you win, why you lose, why customers churn, and why customers decide not to decide at all. Win/loss analysis improves sales, marketing, product development, and competitive strategy. The win/loss analysis is also referred to as win-loss, sales win-loss, win/loss or won-lost analysis.
Workflow AnalysisThe assessment of a company’s workflow and processes to identify areas for improvement and efficiency.
Workflow ManagementThe process of managing and optimizing workflows, including task assignment, tracking, and reporting, to increase efficiency and productivity.
Working CapitalThe difference between a company’s current assets and current liabilities, which measures its short-term liquidity and ability to pay its bills.
WormA worm is a type of malware that autonomously replicates
Zero Day ExploitA vulnerability in software or hardware that is unknown to the manufacturer and can be exploited by hackers or intelligence agencies.
Zero-Based BudgetingA budgeting approach that requires all expenses to be justified and approved each budget cycle, rather than assuming a baseline level of spending from the previous cycle.

So, what Is Competitive Intelligence?

What is competitive intelligence? It’s all about excellent questions. And we start with two questions for you:

1. Name the five best things your main competitor is good at?

2. What are you going to do about them?

Easy right? What about the other competitors? Your future competitors? Your current and future markets? This is where intelligence is so powerful.

It’s Knowledge About Your Competitors

Your market and your customers which is not readily available. And, it’s the information you need to dig a little deeper to find, often in places people where don’t want to share.

It’s asking the questions to get the answers you really want to know. Also, it helps you make decisions and take action relying on more certainty rather than guesswork and dated assumptions.

So, What Is Competitive Intelligence?

Put simply, competitive intelligence allows you to avoid surprises, think more moves ahead of your rivals, and minimise uncertainty when you make business decisions. It gives you the ability to see through or stay ahead of the competition and, in many cases, can be the unspoken, hidden key to success.

It answers the questions you need to know. It’s knowledge about your competitors, your market and your customers which is not readily available. It’s the information you need to dig a little deeper to find, often open-source information people don’t want to be shared. Intelligence can be used in a number of areas of your organisation and even your own customers.

It also questions what you think you know. Why you need intelligence And how it can help you stay stronger, more agile, and fitter for the future. This article asked the question: What is competitive intelligence?

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